Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Sheri Ryan a school garden 'angel'

Every once in a while you meet a human being who makes the reason we are on this planet justified.

Eight years ago, Sheri Ryan was transferred to Ivy High School to teach science. One of her responsibilities was to run the school garden.

The gardens had been in existence for seven years. They were doing okay but some wondered if this inexperienced gardener could keep up with the kids as well as the demands of a vegetable garden, fruit trees and the landscaping.

Well, not only did she keep up, but she has made strides forward. Sheri is now an expert, or “master gardener.”

The gardens are more than twice the size they were and are thriving. Squirrels, rabbits, gophers, snails and the elements have presented challenges and the crops test her patience, but Sheri just keeps trucking on.

She is powerful, amazing and persevering. Her relationship with the students is a beautiful sight to watch. She draws their positive sides out and the gardens thrive and are a sight to behold.

Each year something new is added to the Ivy program. They are the heart of all the other gardens in the elementary school district’s plans to have an organic garden in every school. Since funding has always had restrictions, every school garden has had to bootstrap its way into existence. Sheri makes this seem easy.

This is the 15th year of the organic gardens at Ivy. Each student or small group of students has charge of a garden bed. With help, they will nurture, grow and harvest produce from that bed.

They will have a choice to grow what they prefer, even though they will have to be a part of the overall team working to keep crops diversified.

After the harvesting process, the garden program students will get first crack at eating and sharing their veggies or fruits with other gardeners. This year we are going to have a farmer’s market on Fridays for other Ivy students.

Extra produce will go to the Fallbrook Food Pantry, as we understand their needs are even greater in these economic times.

The farmer’s market will give students an education in math, business, accountability, pride of accomplishment and community service.

If we could all give Sheri a resounding standing ovation for her dedication and devotion, it would go on forever.

What an unsung hero. She is the kind of teacher who is the backbone of a good education system and she performs magic every day.

Thank you, Sheri. You have the undying gratitude and admiration from the other folks in the garden program.


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